From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has warned a traditional chief in Ilamo-Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area of the state, Chief Ezekiel Olanipekun, against parading himself as an Oba or he risks spending six years in prison.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, stressed that anybody who parades himself as an monarch without the approval of the government contravenes Ekiti State Chiefs Law and is liable to six-year imprisonment.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, the Deputy Governor stated this during a meeting he held with the Alamo of Ilamo Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Awoseyila, chiefs and elders of the town in his office in Ado Ekiti.
The meeting was called to douse the tension triggered by Olanipekun’s contention that his quarter is not under Oba Awoseyila claiming that Ilamo and Ilara never share anything in common
Olanipekun, who holds the traditional chieftaincy title of Eleese, was accused of parading himself as a monarch claiming that Ilara Quarters, which he heads, is not under Ilamo Ekiti from time immemorial.
The Deputy Governor who called for peace among all stakeholders in Ilamo Ekiti said government wants harmony in all towns and villages in the state hence its readiness to always be proactive in nipping any crisis in the bud.
Egbeyemi said that the present administration under Dr Kayode Fayemi is preaching peace in all the communities in Ekiti and Ilamo is no exception stressing that there should be no crisis in the state.
The Deputy Governor urged the monarch to accommodate everybody in his domain stressing that it is only where there is peace that even development would strive.
He stressed that Olanipekun is still a chief under the Alamo and not yet a traditional ruler warning that the law would take its course if he parades himself as such.
Egbeyemi said: ‘The law is very clear as to how somebody can become an Oba. Don’t parade yourself as an Oba because doing so contravenes Ekiti State Chiefs Law and the penalty is six years imprisonment.’
The Deputy Governor admonished Olanipekun and his supporters to follow the due process for agitation for autonomy that with patience everything would go accordingly if certain conditions are met.
In his remarks, the Alamo of Ilamo Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Awoseyila said that Olanipekun who is parading himself as an Oba is violating the Ekiti Chiefs Law saying that the late Chief Eleese of Ilara quarters served in his cabinet for 13 years and that he installed him a chief in the community.
Oba Awoseyila said Olanipekun sought autonomy for his quarter but the application was not successful but has been parading himself as a monarch contrary to the law.
Earlier, Olanipekun while reacting denied all the submissions made by the monarch stressing that the Oba is a tenant on the land in which his palace was constructed and that according to history, the two communities never shared anything in common.